Nicole kills five in Jamaica; historic rains in North Carolina; tornadoes in the Mid-Atlantic

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:23 PM GMT on September 30, 2010

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The season's fourteenth named storm, Tropical Storm Nicole, lasted only six hours as a tropical storm, but triggered torrential heavy rains that caused havoc from the Caribbean to North Carolina. In Jamaica, flash flooding from Nicole's rains killed at least five, and several other people were swept away by flood waters and are feared dead. The storm cut power to 170,000 island residents, and caused millions of dollars in damages. Nicole dumped 6.93" of rain on Kingston, and 8.62" in the Kingston suburb of Norbrook. Rains were heavier on the western end of the island; 8.47" fell at a personal weather station at Irwindale before the power failed and data was lost.


Figure 1. NASA MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Nicole at 2:20pm EDT on 9/29/10. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2. Flooding in Jamaica from Tropical Storm Nicole. Image credit: Jamaica Observer.

In Southeast Florida, Nicole brought 5.83" of rain to Miami, 9.58" to Plantation Key, and 5.44" to Homestead. However, Florida escaped serious flooding. Cuba also received widespread rain amounts of 5 - 10 inches, but there are no reports of serious flooding on the island. The remnants of Nicole will continue to bring heavy rains to portions of Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas today.

Historic rainfall event for eastern North Carolina
In North Carolina, the the tropical moisture streaming northwards in advance of Nicole has generated an epic rainfall event. Wilmington, NC recorded 20.69 inches of rain over the past four days, and 21.28" for the five-day period ending at 10am EDT this morning. The incredible rainfall totals have eclipsed the city's record for heaviest 4-day and 5-day rainfall events, set in September 1999 during Hurricane Floyd (19.06".) Another 1 - 3 inches of rain are likely today in Wilmington, which might make this month the rainiest month in city history. A series of non-tropical low pressure systems have been developing along a stalled front off the Carolina/North Carolina coast over the past day, and this activity will continue through tonight before the rains finally end late tonight. The historic rainfall is causing severe and damaging flooding across much of eastern North Carolina. Fortunately, eastern North Carolina was under moderate drought conditions prior to this week's rainfall onslaught, so the flooding damage will not be as great as the billions of dollars of damage wrought by Hurricane Floyd.


Figure 3. Radar-estimated precipitation for North Carolina since Sunday shows that the precursor moisture from Nicole has brought widespread rain amounts in excess of ten inches to eastern North Carolina, with over fifteen inches (white colors surrounded by dark purple) near Wilmington.

Heavy rain, flooding, and tornadoes expected from Virginia to New England
The intense plume of tropical moisture streaming northwards along the U.S. East coast will bring heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches across a wide swath of coast from North Carolina northwards to New England today and Friday. The wunderground severe weather map shows that flood warnings are already posted for portions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, and flood watches extend northwards though Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the rest of New England. Tornado watches have been posted for much of the Mid-Atlantic coast, and NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has put the region in their "slight risk" area for severe weather. One tornado warning has already been issued for coastal Virginia this morning. Three possible tornadoes were reported yesterday in northeastern North Carolina.

Disturbance 97L
Two tropical waves, located 600 - 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, are generating a large area of disorganized thunderstorms. NHC has designated this area Invest 97L this morning. The SHIPS model predicts that wind shear over 97L will remain moderate, 10 - 20 knots, through Saturday morning, then increase to levels marginal for development, 15 - 25 knots, Saturday afternoon through Monday. Some slow development of 97L is likely over this time period, and NHC is giving it a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. The system is headed west-northwest at 15 mph, and should slow down to about 10 mph by Saturday. 97L will bring heavy rains and strong gusty winds to the Lesser Antilles Islands on Sunday and Monday. The ECMWF model is the only model that develops 97L, and foresees that 97L will track across the northern Lesser Antilles and pass near Puerto Rico on Monday and the eastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands by Wednesday. There are major differences in how the models handle the steering current forecast for next week, and the long-range track of 97L is highly uncertain at this point.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of Invest 97L. The upper right portion on the disturbance, centered near 13.5N 45W, is most likely to develop into a tropical depression.

Next update
I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

Post Tropical Storm Nicole Sunset. (bethinking)
Taken at the Lower Sugarloaf Key Estuary as the skies cleared after TS Nicole moved north.
Post Tropical Storm Nicole Sunset.
Hooray for the power company! (AnnaThomas)
Current rain storm took out a tree and a power line. This is what my front yard looks like right now. Praise the power company for responding so quickly- so I could post this picture!
Hooray for the power company!

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821. DDR
Quoting Bordonaro:

thanks
any animation images,which includes the windwards?
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Just had to walk through a foot of water to get to my truck at work :\
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Quoting atmoaggie:
<--- *Reads back...and back...and back... *

IMHO, the orientation of the front at NC has most everything to do with what they are getting out of this...and has next to nothing to do with a "TS" (ahhhh, bull$#..) Nicole.



No, all the extremely high moisture levels are a DIRECT result from Nicole, whether Nicole deserved to be named or not, who cares. The point is, the low pressure area which was named Nicole, had an extremely deep moist tropical air mass, which then merged with the front, and shoved it into North Carolina points north. The massive rainfall totals are associated directly due to the merging of the remnants of Nicole with the trough.
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NWS having a hard time finding ex-Nicole:

000
FXUS62 KRAH 301902
AFDRAH

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RALEIGH NC
302 PM EDT THU SEP 30 2010

.SYNOPSIS...
DEEP TROPICAL MOISTURE WILL SHIFT EAST TONIGHT. DRIER AND COOLER AIR
WILL ARRIVE FRIDAY... AND WILL LAST THROUGH THE WEEKEND.
&&

.NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM FRIDAY MORNING/...
AS OF 300 PM THURSDAY...

LATEST SURFACE ANALYSIS SHOWS A SURFACE LOW LOCATED NEAR KCHO IN VA
WITH A SFC TROUGH EXTENDING SOUTH ACROSS CENTRAL NC NEAR KRDU TO
NEAR KILM. ANOTHER SFC LOW...WHICH IS DIFFICULT TO LOCATE THE TRUE
CENTER...WAS LOCATED SOUTH OF KILM. THIS SFC LOW IS ASSOCIATED WITH
THE REMNANTS OF NICOLE AND IS EMBEDDED WITHIN A DEEP PLUME OF
MOISTURE THAT STRETCHES SOUTHWARD TO THE CARIBBEAN
. DRIER AIR AT THE
SURFACE AS NOTED BY DEW POINTS IN THE LOWER 60S IS PRESENT TO THE
WEST OF THE TROF ACROSS THE WESTERN PIEDMONT OF NC WHILE DEWPOINTS
REMAIN IN THE LOWER TO MID 70S AHEAD OF THE TROUGH IN THE COASTAL
PLAIN.

NWP GUIDANCE IS HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME RESOLVING THE SFC LOW
ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF NICOLE GIVEN THE LOW IS IN A DATA
SPARSE REGION OFFSHORE AND THE SFC PATTERN IS LIKELY BEING
COMPLICATED BY A LARGE AREA OF CONVECTION OFFSHORE.
NOTE THAT THE
12Z NAM IS SLOWER WITH THE SFC LOW AND THE 18 HOUR FCST...AT 06Z
TONIGHT...PLACES IT NEAR THE CRYSTAL COAST (KMHX) WHILE THE GFS IS
MUCH FASTER WITH THE SFC LOW IN DELAWARE AT KDOV! LATEST RADAR DATA
FROM KCHS AND KLTX SUGGEST A SFC WAVE IS OFFSHORE AND IS CLOSER TO
THE GFS POSITION BUT I EXPECT THAT THE TRUE CENTER IS LURKING
OFFSHORE. THE EVENTUAL PLACEMENT OF SFC LOW WILL NOT ONLY DRIVE
PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS AND DURATION BUT DICTATE THE EASTWARD
TRANSITION OF THE SFC TROUGH WHICH WILL IMPACT SFC TEMPS/DEW POINTS
AND WINDS. WILL OPT FOR A SLOW SCENARIO WHICH WILL KEEP PRECIP IN OUR
EASTERN COASTAL PLAIN LOCATIONS FOR MUCH OF THE NIGHT. EXPECT
PERIODS OF SHOWERS WITH LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN IN THE COASTAL PLAIN
WITH A SHARP CUT OFF IN RAINFALL AMOUNTS AND INTENSITY. RAIN
TOTALS OVERNIGHT WILL AVERAGE AROUND 1.5 INCHES TO THE EAST OF I95
THE CENTRAL/NORTHERN COASTAL PLAIN AND THEN QUICKLY DROP OFF TO
LESS THEN A HALF INCH NEAR AND WEST OF ROUTE 1 WITH A TENTH OR
LESS IN THE WESTERN PIEDMONT. WITH ADDITIONAL RAIN AMOUNTS OF 1.5
INCHES AND LOCALLY MORE IN A REGION THAT HAS EXPERIENCED 5-10
INCHES OF RAIN SINCE THE WEEKEND...FEEL IT IS PRUDENT TO EXTEND
THE FLOOD WATCH ACROSS THE COASTAL PLAIN FOR TONIGHT.
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Quoting DDR:
Good evening
Heavy rain and floods in parts of north Trinidad today
Does anyone have a recent satellte image of the central atlantic?

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Quoting IKE:


There ya go.




Same here. Dogwood leaves are really falling off......


Here is south La, the leaves don't start their thing till late October/November
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805. DDR
Good evening
Heavy rain and floods in parts of north Trinidad today
Does anyone have a recent satellte image of the central atlantic?
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804. IKE
Quoting jeffs713:
2 words for you:
Mulching Lawnmower.


There ya go.


Quoting doorman79:


Mine too, but I think it is from lack of rain.


Same here. Dogwood leaves are really falling off......
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800. you're talking to... who? Yourself?
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Quoting IKE:
I notice the leaves are falling my yard. Changing from mowing to raking...soon.


Any thought about 97l, where is the da^^ coc?
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801. IKE
Quoting TropicalMan2010:

wow that sure is chilly!!


Front makes it to northern Cuba on day 6, w/a 1028 mb high over northern Arkansas...

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Quoting IKE:
I notice the leaves are falling my yard. Changing from mowing to raking...soon.
2 words for you:
Mulching Lawnmower.
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Quoting IKE:
I notice the leaves are falling my yard. Changing from mowing to raking...soon.


Mine too, but I think it is from lack of rain.
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looking dark to the west in grand cayman again
Link
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794. IKE
I notice the leaves are falling my yard. Changing from mowing to raking...soon.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
<--- *Reads back...and back...and back... *

IMHO, the orientation of the front at NC has most everything to do with what they are getting out of this...and has next to nothing to do with a "TS" (ahhhh, bull$#..) Nicole.

The stalled frontal boundary and a fetch of tropical moisture from the Western Caribbean Sea, remnants of Nicole are wreaking havoc up & down the Eastern Seaboard.

Before all is said and done there will be widespread rainfall totals approaching 10 inches in many locations.
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Quoting IKE:
This will cool down those NE GOM water temps.....


Saturday Night
Mostly clear. Lows 53 to 56. North winds 5 to 10 mph.

Sunday
Partly cloudy. Highs around 81.

Sunday Night
Mostly clear. Lows around 48.

Monday
Mostly sunny. Highs around 78.

Monday Night
Mostly clear. Lows around 46.

Tuesday
Mostly sunny. Highs around 75.

Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy. Lows around 54.

Wednesday
Partly cloudy. Highs around 79.

And brisk NE wind with lower humidity and dew points in the 50's and 60's. At least we can give our A/C a break, and sleep comfortable at night :P
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789. IKE
Quoting atmoaggie:
<--- *Reads back...and back...and back... *

IMHO, the orientation of the front at NC has most everything to do with what they are getting out of this...and has next to nothing to do with a "TS" (ahhhh, bull$#..) Nicole.


As an amateur I'll agree with you based on what I've seen with satellite loops and radar.
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Quoting JRRP:
here we go


OMMMGGGG
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


Earlier this morning just after 13 Gmt
Broad surface circulation (elongated from east to west); and likely open on the western semicircle.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
<--- *Reads back...and back...and back... *

Quoting Drakoen:


With the help of a frontal system. It is not all what was Nicole, which was a weak tropical storm that probably didn't even deserve to be named. Certainly doesn't look like a TS to me.

IMHO, the orientation of the front at NC has most everything to do with what they are getting out of this...and has next to nothing to do with a "TS" (ahhhh, bull$#..) Nicole.
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HPC

THE HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER
CAMP SPRINGS, MD
STORM SUMMARY MESSAGE

STORM SUMMARY NUMBER 06 FOR HEAVY RAINS ACROSS THE MID ATLANTIC
AND NORTHEAST
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
500 PM EDT THU SEP 30 2010

...EARLY FALL STORM CONTINUES TO SPREAD HEAVY RAIN AND WIND
NORTHWARD ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC AND NORTHEAST...

FLOOD AND FLASH FLOOD WATCHES...WARNINGS...AND ADVISORIES REMAIN
IN EFFECT FROM THE NORTHERN COAST OF SOUTH CAROLINA...NORTHWARD
THROUGH NORTH CAROLINA AND VIRGINIA...AND INTO PENNSYLVANIA AND
THE NEW ENGLAND STATES. HIGH WIND WATCHES AND WARNINGS HAVE BEEN
ISSUED FOR PORTIONS OF THE NORTHEAST...FROM THE NEW YORK CITY AREA
NORTHWARD TO SOUTHERN VERMONT...AS WELL AS PORTIONS OF EAST
CENTRAL MAINE.

FOR A DETAILED GRAPHICAL DEPICTION OF THE LATEST
WATCHES...WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES...PLEASE SEE WWW.WEATHER.GOV

AT 400 PM EDT...A FRONTAL BOUNDARY REMAINED DRAPED ACROSS THE EAST
COAST STATES FROM NEAR MYRTLE BEACH...SOUTH CAROLINA NORTHWARD
INTO CENTRAL NEW ENGLAND. THE PORTION OF THE FRONT FROM CENTRAL
VIRGINIA NORTHWARD WAS PUSHING INLAND AS A WARM FRONT. SURFACE
OBSERVATIONS INDICATED A 997 MB SURFACE LOW ALONG THIS FRONTAL
BOUNDARY ACROSS NORTHERN VIRGINIA. A SECOND 997 MB SURFACE LOW WAS
CENTERED OFF THE COAST NEAR THE SOUTH/NORTH CAROLINA BORDER.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RADAR AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATED
A COUPLE WAVES OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL MOVING ACROSS THE
EASTERN U.S. ONE AREA OF RAINFALL COVERED MUCH OF THE
NORTHEAST...FROM PENNSYLVANIA NORTHWARD INTO NEW ENGLAND. A SECOND
AREA OF HEAVY RAIN WAS MOVING INTO NORTH CAROLINA AND SOUTHERN
VIRGINIA AHEAD OF THE SECOND SURFACE LOW. RAINFALL RATES AS HIGH
AS ONE INCH PER HOUR WERE OCCURRING ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE
NORTHEAST. RAINFALL RATES AS HIGH AS TWO TO THREE INCHES PER HOUR
WERE OCCURRING ALONG THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST WITH THE SECOND WAVE
OF HEAVY RAINFALL.

...SELECTED STORM TOTAL RAINFALL IN INCHES FROM 800 AM EDT TUE SEP
28 THROUGH 200 PM EDT THU SEP 30...

...CONNECTICUT...
DANBURY MUNI ARPT 2.96
UNION CITY 2.66
NORWICH 2.65
NORFOLK 2SW 2.42
COLEBROOK RIVER LAKE 2.41
HOTCHKISSVILLE 2.31
HARTFORD-BRAINARD ARPT 1.41

...DELAWARE...
WILMINGTON ARPT 1.60

...MASSACHUSETTS...
HUNTINGTON - WESTFIELD RIVER 2.40
AMHERST 1WNW 1.88
PITTSFIELD MUNI ARPT 1.83
UXBRIDGE 1.80
WESTFIELD/BARNES MUNI ARPT 1.61

...MARYLAND...
PATUXENT RIVER NAS 9.17
SOLOMONS 8.00
ANNAPOLIS 7.58
ST INIGOES/WEBSTER FIELD 6.50
FLORENCE 3S 4.20
BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON INTL ARPT 3.64
ANDREWS AFB/CAMP SPRINGS 2.30

...MAINE...
VAN BUREN 1.32

...NORTH CAROLINA...
WILMINGTON 8.84
CHERRY POINT 7.80
NEW RIVER MCAS 7.29
GRIFTON 6.74
JACKSONVILLE 6.31
NEW BERN/CRAVEN CO. ARPT 6.28
ELIZABETH CITY 6.08
BEAUFORT/SMITH FIELD 5.97
GREENVILLE 5.77
HOFFMAN/MACKALL AAF 5.26
SOUTHERN PINES/MOORE CO. ARPT 5.23
WHITEHALL 5.13
LAURINBURG-MAXTON ARPT 4.98
GREENSBORO 4.83
RALEIGH 3.45
FAYETTEVILLE 2.63

...NEW HAMPSHIRE...
LEBANON MUNI ARPT 2.18
KEENE/DILLANT-HOPKINS ARPT 1.97
WOODSTOCK 1.77
GORHAM 12SSW 1.53

...NEW JERSEY...
NEW BRUNSWICK 3SE 2.76
TETERBORO AIRPORT 2.02
WATCHUNG 2.02
FOLSOM 2.01
CANOE BROOK 2E 1.97
NEWARK INTL ARPT 1.26

...NEW YORK...
TANNERSVILLE 2SE 3.10
POUGHKEEPSIE/DUTCHESS CO. ARPT 2.52
PHOENICIA 2SW 2.39
HUNTS CORNERS 2.30
MONTGOMERY/ORANGE CO. ARPT 2.17
BRIDGEHAMPTON 1N 2.14
WELLSVILLE MUNI ARPT 1.89
WHITE PLAINS/WESTCHESTER CO. ARPT 1.60
NEW YORK CITY 1.36

...PENNSYLVANIA...
LANCASTER 5.03
MOUNT POCONO MUNI ARPT 4.71
ALLENTOWN-BETHLEHEM 4.59
YORK ARPT 3.61
FAYETTEVILLE 9NE 3.40
SOUTH MOUNTAIN 3.19
READING 2.96
JOHNSTOWN 2.65
WILLIAMSPORT 2.50
HARRISBURG 1.87

...SOUTH CAROLINA...
FLORENCE RGNL ARPT 4.95
SOCASTEE 4.82
QUINBY 4.74
MCCLELLANVILLE 4.69
CONWAY 4.42
KINGSTREE 4.39
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH 4.14
DARLINGTON 3.43
HUGER 5 NNW 3.37
WITHERBEE 3.37
HILTON HEAD 3.32
ISLE OF PALMS 3.32
DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON 2.19

...VIRGINIA...
JONES CREEK 9.68
MARROWBONE RES 9.41
WAKEFIELD MUNI ARPT 8.65
NORFOLK 6.11
FORT EUSTIS/FELKER 5.61
LANGLEY AFB/HAMPTON 4.98
RICHMOND 4.78
LYNCHBURG 4.01
ASHLAND 3.78
DANVILLE 3.53
WASHINGTON DULLES 3.35
WASHINGTON NATIONAL 2.63
ROANOKE 2.60

...VERMONT...
SPRINGFIELD/HARTNESS STATE ARPT 2.14
HANKSVILLE 1S 1.54
BENNINGTON/MORSE STATE ARPT 1.17

...WEST VIRGINIA...
SHEPHERDSTOWN 2.90
FORT SEYBERT 6E 2.54
FROST 3NE 2.49
CANAAN VALLEY 2.45
ELKINS/RANDOLPH FIELD 1.87
MARTINSBURG RGNL ARPT 1.85


THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC IS EXPECTED TO
TRACK NORTHWARD INTO EASTERN CANADA BY FRIDAY MORNING. THE
HEAVIEST RAINS ARE EXPECTED TO FOCUS NEAR THE LOW PRESSURE TRACK
AND ALONG THE SURFACE BOUNDARY AS DEEP MOISTURE FROM THE TROPICS
SURGES NORTHWARD. THE SECONDARY LOW IS EXPECTED TO MOVE NORTHWARD
ALONG THE MID-ATLANTIC COASTLINE THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING...BRINGING
AN ADDITIONAL ROUND OF PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE REGION. ADDITIONAL
RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF THREE TO SIX INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER
AMOUNTS...ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS MUCH OF THE MID ATLANTIC AND
NORTHEAST THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING. ADDITIONALLY...WINDS OF 30 TO 40
MPH WITH GUSTS AS HIGH AS 60 MPH WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE LATE
THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY ACROSS SOUTHEASTERN NEW ENGLAND AS THE MAIN
SURFACE LOW MOVES CLOSER TO THE NORTHEAST.

THE NEXT STORM SUMMARY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL
PREDICTION CENTER AT 1100 PM EDT. PLEASE REFER TO YOUR LOCAL
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS
EVENT.

RYAN




Last Updated: 443 PM EDT THU SEP 30 2010



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784. IKE
This will cool down those NE GOM water temps.....


Saturday Night
Mostly clear. Lows 53 to 56. North winds 5 to 10 mph.

Sunday
Partly cloudy. Highs around 81.

Sunday Night
Mostly clear. Lows around 48.

Monday
Mostly sunny. Highs around 78.

Monday Night
Mostly clear. Lows around 46.

Tuesday
Mostly sunny. Highs around 75.

Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy. Lows around 54.

Wednesday
Partly cloudy. Highs around 79.
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Wow! this doesn't make sense, some schools stayed open in the Wilmington NC area. CFCC & UNCW stayed open today even though public schools in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick Counties were closed.

Article: Link
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WU still has the 2:00 AM models for 97L. The mid-level spin is way WSW (due east of Northern most part of SA) of the location shown on the 2:00 AM runs. 97L looks more developed than Mathew at same location.
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So did a cold wind blow on the back of my neck or someone walk over my grave?  OIC a handle and posts just disappeared from the blog.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:


Kerry - That wasn't Reed. Count the E's in the name.

Just a troll.
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Earlier this morning just after 13 Gmt
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775. GS121
so this thing might come into the GOM? isn't there a cold front that just passed "sheilding" the area with another coming next week? is the northern gulf coast actually at risk with 97L?!
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....old
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.